Friday, 3 February 2012

Connecting with bad days

We have moved back to the town where I lived before getting married. My wife and I have spent a period here before.

Cycling back from work on the dark cold evening of 1 February (part of my memory tag for that day), I remembered two of my wife's sisters staying at a guest house near my route many years before. In fact, close to eleven years, all but a week or two. They had come over for our pre-wedding party, shortly before we left the country to get married.

This was a memory tinged with shame, surely one of the most powerful emotions to make us want to forget.

It was not a major issue, but it has taught me a valuable lesson.

When we visited them the evening after they had settled in, I saw they had bought some food from the local shop I had shown them. But once home, my fiancé was upset as she said they were hungry because they didn't understand our food and had not eaten well all day.

I felt bad for not being aware, for thinking things were fine. My shame is I became angry at not being told when I could have done something about it. Which didn't help matters or ease my fiancé's concern for her sisters.

So that particular day, whatever date it was, does not have a particularly pleasant memory attached to it. The fact it comes to mind all this time later shows it has not really been forgotten. This is a trivial recollection of my human frailty. There are far worse days in my life, which I am not yet ready to share or delve into.

If I am to continue with this project of remembering every day of my life – and reclaiming as many past memories as I can from before I began this process – then knowing this will include bad days is not encouraging.

But then something else came back to me as I continued cycling home. At the earliest opportunity, the following morning, I took my wife's sisters shopping for snacks. From then on, whenever we ate out, I was mindful to take them through the menu carefully and patiently, explaining the different dishes, until they made a choice they were happy with.

That bad day connects to the lesson learned and the happy memories of meals enjoyed together.

Bad days – at least of a certain type – should not be an obstacle to remembering, if they are seen in a wider context, as part of a continuing story.

I hope, going forward, I can apply it further. Bad days can become bearable if there is some sort of resolution.

For those unresolved, perhaps there is something that can still be done to make them so.

No comments:

Post a Comment